Friday, February 08, 2008

Electricity Use - Survey Results

Good Job!

Looking over the electricity use survey, it’s good to see that so many of us are at the low-end of the scale. While we Americans are often criticized for over-consumption, it’s obvious that many of us don’t deserve it. For the most part it’s our leadership that has failed, not the American people. President Bush’s message “America is addicted to oil” strikes me as a shameful attempt to shift the blame from his inept and corrupt administration to the American people. We should expect our government to recognize problems and provide better solutions, but clearly they’ve let us down. Too much federal money supports oil and coal interests, while little goes to renewable energy projects. I’m tired of politicians who claim to care, but don’t act as if they do.

Your Accomplishment

Your efforts to conserve electricity, and your interest in renewable energy technologies, show that you care. Because of your efforts, the world is less polluted, and what remains of the earth’s fossil fuels will last a little longer. People may notice your PV panels, or your windmill, but they probably don’t give much thought to how much your efforts contribute to the quality of their lives.

Your Reward

The decline of fossil fuels will lead to electricity shortages, which will lead to laws restricting the use of electricity. Energy use restrictions will not apply to those who generate their own. Instead of a shortage, you’re likely to have a surplus of electricity from time to time. If you’re feeding that back into the grid, you’ll be compensated financially. If not, you can use that electricity in any way you wish, and think of it as “guilt-free” electricity.

Why we’re Ignored

We use bio-fueled stoves, windmills, PV panels, solar hot water heaters, and a number of other environmentally friendly systems. We talk about our projects with those doing similar things, but seldom with others. Mostly, we’re just ignored. Some are reluctant to discuss renewable energy because they don’t understand the technology, but others shy away from the topic out of feelings of guilt. After all, they see you and I doing much more than they are doing.

Promoting Renewable Energy

While it might be tempting to flaunt a “greener-than-thou” attitude, it’s important to know that successful movements are not powered by guilt, they’re the result of confidence and passion. Be patient, and nonjudgmental, but don’t expect to convert everyone you see. There will always be those who don’t care about anyone or anything but their own selfish interests, and there will always be those who have discretionary income but no discretion.


Pat yourself on the back, enjoy some guilt-free consumption, and get back to work! The world needs you, and is better off because of you.



d said...

Hey SJ,

At least one entry in your poll is non-US! B^>

Also, I note that the 500kWh/month limit before compulsory time-of-day metering being suggested for South Africa wouldn't be horrible for your visitors: about 50% would escape the measure entirely for example.



otrpu said...

Sounds like you're well on your way to achieving what you want. I was going to have solar installed on a 5th wheel trailer a half dozen years ago. Back when I thought I was going to be able to retire. Things changed. . .still working. I've 4 BP-585 panels, Trace DM2412 inverter & Trace something or other controller. Thinking now since they're just sitting in my garage, I may have them installed on my Townhouse. I'm probably too old to consider putting much more into a system, but if I could utilize what I've already acquired to eliminate some grid power usage it might be worth my while. Don't know for sure if these 4 panels mounted flat on my garage in Denver, CO suburb would be able to generate enough to replenish 4 Trojan T-105's to run a 42in LCD HDTV and Digital Sat box or not. Wifey and I will both be working different shifts for another 10 years. Means TV runs maybe 16 hours a day. I'm thinking it should be worth my while to plug these panels in. Personally, I can't understand why this country hasn't been using solar on track homes for the past 50 years. But the older I get the more I find out there's alot I don't understand. JMHO